Procurement through GeM crosses Rs 1.24 lakh cr in Q1; platform to become world's largest in FY24-25

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New Delhi: With the procurement of goods and services through government's portal GeM crossing Rs 1.24 lakh crore in first quarter of 2024-25, the platform will become world's largest by the end of this fiscal, a senior official said on Thursday.

The Government e-Market (GeM) portal was launched on August 9, 2016, for online purchases of goods and services by all central government ministries and departments.

"GeM has clocked a gross merchandise value of Rs 1,24,761 lakh crore at the end of first quarter, representing a quarter-on-quarter growth of 136 per cent over last year's Rs 52,670 crore," GeM CEO Prashant Kumar Singh told reporters here.

He said that going by this pace, it will become the world's largest platform.

South Korea's KONEPS is the largest such platform in the world. GeM stands at the second position. It is followed by Singapore's GeBIZ.

He added that the procurement by central ministries including CPSEs surpassed Rs 1 lakh crore milestone in this period with ministries of coal, defence and petroleum and gas emerging as the top procurers in this quarter.

"Of this Rs 1 lakh crore, CPSEs share accounted for more than Rs 91,000 crore," Singh said, adding during the first quarter, services segment has been the prime mover.

Services buying crossed Rs 80,500 during the quarter.

In 2023-24, the procurement from this portal had crossed Rs 4 lakh crore.

Talking about the initiatives of the portal, Singh said that carrying forward its vision of reaching out to the last mile sellers and with an aim to further simplify public procurement, they are planning to roll out 'GeM SAHAYAK' programme which aims at creating a pan-India network of 6,000-7,000 trained and certified accredited trainers.

The Sahayaks, he said, would offer their services to potential and existing GeM sellers in navigating on the portal and enhancing business opportunities.

Buyers too will benefit from their services in terms of creation of bids and other value-added services, Singh said.

To further promote ease of doing business, he said the platform has drastically reduced transaction charges leviable on sellers.

As per the new revenue policy of GeM, the sellers/service providers will be charged only 0.30 per cent of the order value (previously 0.45 per cent) on orders worth more than Rs 5 lakh.

He added that these transaction charges would be capped at Rs 3 lakh as against Rs 72.50 lakh being changed earlier.

"This reduction in transaction charges levied on the GeM platform by almost 33 per cent to 96 per cent would greatly benefit our sellers and is likely to make their offerings more competitive in the marketplace," Singh said.

To promote the government's initiative of "vocal for local', the platform has added a page of 'The Aabhar Collection'.

It showcases over 120 exquisite and hand-crafted gift items and hampers, featuring select products from One District One Product (ODOP) and Geographical Indication (GI) categories with prices ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 25,000 to be used by government buyers for all their official events/ ceremonies.

Further, he said, to maintain its pole position in the public procurement space, GeM is all set to deploy its generative AI-based chat bot - GeMAI - in the coming quarter.

The AI tool has been trained to provide solutions based on a nuanced analysis of queries raised by buyers and sellers through various complaint and feedback mechanisms.

"Conversational analytics and business intelligence using generative AI are also being harnessed to build a robust AI-powered chat bot," he said.

GeM has over 1.5 lakh government buyers and over 62 lakh sellers and service providers offering a wide range of products and services.

Currently, government departments, ministries, public sector units, state governments, and central armed police forces are allowed to carry out transactions through this portal.

The portal provides a wide range of products from office stationery to vehicles. Automobiles, computers and office furniture are some of the major product categories.

Services, including transportation, hiring of helicopter services, logistics, waste management, webcasting and analytical, are listed on the portal.